PINES: Growing and Styling Japanese Black & White Pine Bonsai
Pines: Growing and Styling Pine Bonsai is a compendium of articles originally published in Bonsai Today Magazine that have been re-edited and updated to ensure the most current information available. As part of Bonsai Today Masters Series, this book is aimed at the intermediate to advanced bonsai enthusiasts. I say this because it only briefly covers basic bonsai care, assuming that you are looking to learn and build upon basic knowledge. The articles were produced by true pine bonsai masters, including: Masahiko Kimura, Takashita Yosiaki, and Michael Persiano.
This book is divided into 2 sections: Japanese White Pines and Japanese Black Pines. It contains 16 authoritative and well organized chapters. Subjects include needle and candle reduction methods, seed stratification, showing, superfeeding, and shari. If there is an aspect of pine bonsai not covered in this manual then it’s possible it doesn’t deserve to be here; it provides everything you might need to know about all aspects of the preparation and maintenance of pine bonsai.
[quote]”Each section begins with a chapter on care and maintenance and is followed by a series of projects, logically sequenced and prefaced by introductory notes. Within each chapter, italicized entries expand on the authors’ content, offer insight in Japanese terminology, and provide supplemental information on related techniques. The profusion of color photographs in each chapter show the dramatic changes resulting from the winning combination of technical mastery and artistic inspiration.” (Michael Perseano)[/quote]
Also included are two galleries of world class Japanese White Pine (Pinus parviflora) and Japanese Black Pine (Pinus thunbergii) bonsai, showing that if you follow the techniques in this book, you too could have pine bonsai like these. The galleries make it clear that the techniques and subjects covered in this book are the real deal.
My only criticisms are that the book has a paperback cover (hardcovers are always, in my opinion, better for reference books) and that there are many small, thumbnail sized images. Being a visual person, the bigger and better the pictures are the more likely I am going to continue reading.
Stone Lantern has gone above and beyond by compiling, combining, and polishing these articles in a way that make this book the definitive reference guide on Japanese black and white pine bonsai.
Disclosure: I agreed to write this review and received the book for a discounted price. I will always tell you the truth about anything I review, free or not.